Rachel Maddow: Kellyanne Conway Like a ‘Puppet Without a Hand’

The last remaining female host in primetime cable news dishes about Kellyanne Conway and Megyn Kelly with Andy Cohen.


Rachel Maddow is willing to give Kellyanne Conway credit for one thing: She’s not afraid to come on her MSNBC show.

During the aftershow portion of her appearance on Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live last night, Maddow praised Donald Trump’s campaign manager-turned-counselor for engaging with her in a respectful way. “I like anyone who will speak to me as a base-level thing,” Maddow said, in response to a caller’s question. “That’s not a genuinely available thing for me from Republicans.”

That message echoed the one Maddow delivered on MSNBC following Conway’s appearance last month, when she thanked her for having a conversation that was “civic, civil, and confrontational when it needs to be without being mean.”

“So, yay, Kellyanne Conway will speak to me, and she’s a very nice person,” Maddow admitted to Cohen. That being said, she added that Conway is currently in a “weird position” of being a “spokesperson” for Trump who “often seems not to know what he thinks about an issue or what he would say about a specific issue.”

“She ‘speaks for him,’” Maddow said, using air-quotes, “but doesn’t actually speak for him. So that’s a hard job. That’s like being a puppet without a hand.”

That dynamic was apparent just this week when Conway seemed to defend a decision by House Republicans to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics at the same time Trump was upbraiding them on Twitter for those same actions.

During the Bravo broadcast, Maddow also weighed in on the news that her 9 p.m. competition, Megyn Kelly, would be leaving Fox News for NBC, making them practically colleagues. She said she had no idea the move would be happening, stressing that NBC News and MSNBC are separate entities.

“It will be very interesting to see what Fox does at 9,” she said, speaking before it was announced that the very conservative Tucker Carlson would be taking Kelly’s spot. “One of the things that’s interesting is that we’ve got Donald Trump, he’s got this very — all the sexual harassment claims, grab women by the blah-blah-blah, all the concerns that women have about him and in that era, now there’s like no more women in news, in primetime at least.”

“I’m starting to feel a little lonely,” Maddow added. “Because I’m not all that girly, and if I have to hold up all the girl energy, it’s going to be hard.”

Maddow’s comments also came before MSNBC announced that former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren would be taking over the 6 p.m. time slot on that network. With Martha MacCallum moving into Van Susteren’s old 7 p.m. slot on Fox and Erin Burnett remaining on CNN during that hour, there will still be at least some “girl energy” in the evenings on cable news.

But when it comes to the traditionally primetime hours of 8-11 p.m., Maddow stands alone.